Three-Alarm Blaze

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

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BLOG POST #268: Three-Alarm Blaze

While in the final phase of construction, two buildings with seven, three-story townhomes in each building went up in flames. The fire required over 100 firefighters, 30 pieces of equipment, and 8 hours to put out the blaze. At the exact moment the project went up in flames, the developer was on a flight to check on the progress. The fire destroyed both buildings.

Fire investigators quickly suspected arson. They started an investigation.

Investigators found key pieces of evidence at the site:

  • A garment soaked in accelerant that also had the project manager’s DNA on it.
  • Video surveillance from a neighbor’s doorbell camera.

Damning evidence surfaced when investigators learned prior to the fire the project manager took out a separate insurance policy on the project for $4 million payable to him.

The project manager may have thought he’d gotten away with the crime, even though the insurance company denied a pay-out on the $4 million insurance policy pending the results of the investigation. The authorities arrested him in the Caribbean.

After learning he faced a sentence of 110 years for the charges, he pleaded guilty to one count of arson. A U.S. Federal judge sentenced him to 10 years in federal prison, three-years of supervised release, and pay more than $2.5 million in restitution to the victims of his crime.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about true-crime and books.

Do you know of a crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Source: U.S. District Court, the Department of Justice, The Denver Post

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